tv Book Discussion on Pat and Dick CSPAN February 2, 2014 11:20pm-11:55pm EST
nothing happened she finally talk to me by astor to go full face otherwise the government would say you make it up. associated and was a very brave act on her part to she felt very strongly. so then they can now with my book on abc news senator rockefeller and the chairman of senate intelligence committee at the time agreed to hold or at an investigation and immediately asked her if she would testify and she said she would that made her a
witness before a committee so they could not prosecute without obstructing the investigation of congress. so i want to keep it that way. >> i know there's so many questions would you answer? >> i don't want to keep people in here that don't want to be here. i am happy if they keep asking them. >> thank you so much. >> i really appreciated. [inaudible conversations]
family is here today to celebrate with us. i want to dedicate this talk to julie and tricia and dave and ed you deserve to see their parents treated fairly. the theme for this coming year -- coming year is to take a new look at richard nixon which is a great context for be to tell you about this book. by telling the story of the humanizing perspective of his life and marriage, the strength is clarified the weaknesses are in a new perspective. 1948 when it richard nixon was part on the american activities committee investigating alger hiss for communism he never dreamed 24 years later he would be
in china opening china to the west. when you have low light journey with a sense of adventure and openness and follow what is the merging what changes you can make. i have a confession. 19609 hours a graduate student at the university of texas austin. i was protesting the vietnam war and richard nixon i am on like today i would have no idea i would be here today celebrating his marriage so things do change. as a psychologist with a unique perspective believe it or not to do merrill wrote -- marital therapy one
of the things i have always been fascinated by it is long-term marriages over the period of the of marriage when becomes interested of new developing careers then be other and then too many people see that narrative through the lessons of watergate. that is not a fair and accurate to see a 53 year relationship. to talk about three main myths that still crop up with the nixons and their marriage. to talk about the wonderful
relationship with the eisenhowers one of the of myths is that he was cold and and caring husband. he was very sentimental. 1944 on the sixth anniversary he wrote her a letter from the south pacific in which he said your birthday is today i will celebrate all your birthdays as a remembrance of my love for you and he always followed through and a wonderful story by winchester social secretary in march he called the blue sea into a meeting and she had no idea. and a little nervous to meet
the president and he said we will throw a surprise birthday party for pat i have more to tell you in exacting detail how i planned it pursue inter and stand at the north and of the east room and went through all the details superceded to get so excited he began to sing happy birthday and sank the entire song as if he was the band conducting the birthday right then. that showed what a great enthusiasm he had for celebrating his wife. had to see some of the letters he wrote during the war it is the tender aspect
to richard nixon's heart. he was interviewed what is written on your hard? in a split second he said pat. no hesitation. this is what he wrote during the war. i am certainly not the rubio taipei may not say much when i am with you but all of me in blubs all of you all the time. her nickname back at 2:00 in the morning i just had to write you to say how very much in love you. she had seen the movie but said imus the hands very much. 1943 he wrote on their third anniversary, i am thinking about years together and loving you every minute of the time. then thinking about his wife's work time job he wrote, i ever leave very
proud as i have always been. i like to tell the guys house marked you are as well as being the most attractive person they will of percy. you are the tops heart no wonder i have no other interest a ban you. one other example the early 1944, he wrote dogs, horses, somebody to do the work whenever it is, whatever you do you will be wonderful to be with you again. i love you so very much this minute. you don't often hear about this. going back to the beginning of their courtship that he had won no gay but to win the hot pearl.
but to give you a feel where they were then forced the on ashley first year of their courtship was very and even pat was grounded in had a sense of happiness in her professional life in the first year teaching at the high school and had us sense of pride and sacrifice and she was not ready to get married or involved. a sophisticated modern woman wore fashionable skirts and sweaters that set off hit a curb gold hair. her fresh complexion and her high cheekbones. student robert blake remembered she was quite a dish.
it was the fine line you do not cross. from years of hardship and toyo and the effort to better herself. this is the part that i love. suddenly junior and senior boys began interested in how to type. signing up for the typing class many teenage boys developed infatuations while female students developed a schoolgirl crush. discovering the price of clamor she was being wooed to the point of harassment including her students. some of the boys in her class placed of small query in the student paper asking where she lived in press able to locate her apartment. they would follow her to where she lived across from
the bowling alley. summoning up the nerve they knock down the door but they received a mighty cool reception who was not only intent to maintain her professional demeanor. groups of girls would stakeout her apartment igor to flesh out of her life. one evening with a the intention that would become a sample of mrs. richard nixon. she walked told from a date with headlights from the car of young admirers. this is what richard nixon was competing with them by contrast to a five-year old nixon found his ambition blocked. living in a small room over his parents arrived working a job he was reluctant to take, did not have a girlfriend and back home in the town he tried to live we
quite -- leave behind after third in his law class he was disappointed with the law firm said turned down the job applications and her mom pulled strings for him to work as an associate the most reputable law firm. >> so he is just beginning his career and pat is having the best time. with his trademark persistence he pursued her. after six months pat really does not want to get involved she goes to michigan to buy a car and disappears from his life for three months. he did not like that. in september he heard she was mcenroe a letter saying above like to see you if you can stand me and i promise it will never be boring. he was right about that.
if you have a moment to stand in the shoes of the person you are writing about. where richard nixon worked as a young attorney and one was impressed by he to buck up the window to see whittier high school i could imagine to dream of pat and yearning to see her. also looking through the daily diaries to the end of the year he began to make notations that recorded her comments that were beginning to show she had interests. i am will some before you. and then i am glad you came. it was so important he wrote to these down.
but richard told frank gannon he thinks he finally won her that the football game on new year's day the coz the alma mater was playing to was undefeated in then to come back at the last minute to be defeated seven / three. this was the moment a reticent moment could reach over to take the hand of her determined date that was the moment when things began to shift. in april a few months later later, she began to write his romantic letters that said by don't you come over wednesday at 6:00 pmi will try to burn you a hamburger. but that shows though it that she has. had you seen the sun set? a new pitcher every moment.
said she was beginning to have a wonderful feeling anti-pursued her he could not stand ice skating but what did he do? he knew she like to go so he practiced and bloodied himself falling down repeatedly been he was determined he could i skate with her in her friends and he did. with this persistence she began to see what a board of a sense of adventure and she always admired his mind and transmitted to her a high sense of purpose this is very important to her and what we don't think about as much with pat as the sense of purpose as important to her as it was richard nixon they were married in 1940 after he proposed on the most romantic cliff overlooking the pacific ocean literally the day
before the nazis took over paris. a very difficult time. just of feel for the of course, ship. the second myth about pat that she was weak or passive compared to her husband. decidedly not true. one of the goals of my book is to restore her to her full place as richard nixon's teammates and partner. 19461 of the first political couples to run together in an election as a result of the wartime work pat had done and was very much katy made more so than any other campaign. a long uphill battle. they were not funded. they had the abandoned
storefront, patricia born in february with almost no sleep or no money intel they want their primary and got the endorsement of the "l.a. times" they had no money but pat was the campaign managers to bring doorbell's coverage of volunteers, she told the "saturday evening post" when people would come in and say we want to support you here is half a dollar or a dollar. she was the backbone because there were many discouraging moments he would despair and she would always have the optimism. of course, he formed perot really in the debates he said the frail is ready for me but i was not ready for the fray. when they won the election nixon wrote in his memoir we were happier of that day than we ever were at any
other time in our political life. going to his datebook scrawled in huge the letters come a victory. it meant so much. 1948 pat backed off because she had to be well he was investigating alger hiss he went through a difficult time to make these decisions and by his own admission he was miserable to live with but she supported him all the way to help him through that. 1950 when he ran for the senate and they drove all over california in the wood-paneled station wagon she was very strong. the most memorable is the scandal crisis where eisenhower had picked as the vice-presidential couple starting the campaign and would take the special train
up the coast and there were very excited and as they went along that had no outside communication there would stop and only then could they go to the of phone they began to hear "the new york post" charge them having a wealthy slush funds and the main thing of this campaign was going against the corruption. this was devastating and it was almost oppressive of because the news got worse calling for him to resign. but one night at 2:00 in the morning he woke up pat and said i think i should resign. she said you cannot resign. eisenhower will lose. if you run away you will be scarred for the rest of your life than destroy yourself.
he said okay. i will continue the campaign. [laughter] then the famous moment after he decided to address national audience to make his case he was preparing feverishly 48 hours completely exhausted then he said i don't think i can do it. pat said yes, you can. she grabbed his hand and took him up to the stage. while she sat there listening, she said herself she sat like of wax figure because she was so afraid she would lose control and the emotional and the camera would be on her. this is the rigid control she had to have is the beginning that people called -- started to call her plastic pat. nixon's respond her plastic
is tougher than the toughest steel. he thought of her as a stronger partner and backbone and it meant so much to him through various prices and caracas when there were almost killed when the limousine was turned over the last year of the white house in into in retirement pay both were almost killed. she was always there for him. the idea she was not a strong partner. one anecdote with their rich africa representing eisenhower, the temperature was over when the judge agrees she was in the market was almost intolerable conditions. suddenly she was presented with the big ugly fish died that tradition is the cast eight issa she played in her mouth and swallow without flinching and the general
was with her and said what is going on? she said this is just as though way we do it. quite a bit of strength. the final myth is that they had a miserable marriage. five years ago in boston i talk to agency said that is a dreadful story. that is the last thing you should do but i did not give up that one agent said it is wonderful. and the american culture we foster public display of affection in the anchorage the idea of going through difficult times to give up on its so with this context the american public have a difficult time to understand the spacious private and committed relationship that the nixons have.
not to glorify their relationship they had dark times like any other couple and drove each other crazy 19481960, 1962 pat did not want nixon to run for governor that was the last period of watergate. like any other marriage this was par for the course and one of the things they should do is there you get a of a distinct sense of personality. i love your letters but to sit back and devour. to talk about how he did not like to mow the lawn and
said he will do it next week i will telegraph you when it happens. she said i got him to moldovan. he has been complaining of sore hands of persons. if the nhl has to be driven in this house hold it is made that does the nail driving. they said he was off on the road but i am alone again. pat by nature of her personality was a very independent woman and was able to have that sense of distance to tolerate that many others could not have. tolstoy's said it is not so much a lack of compatibility that makes a happy marriage
but the ability to deal with in the compatibility. that is a crucial fact that people mess because not that pat did not love politics the way richard did did they found ways to manage that. the for don't give enough credit or focus is the extraordinary period of the vice presidency representing eisenhower. the press called pat a phenomenon of the overtime. while assessing bant reporting to eisenhower what was going on she found a role to support women. it has not dennis
acknowledged not like eleanor roosevelt who gave lectures but by personal example to get women invited to defense they had never been invited to with various places that they were. she did this all the time it was her way to take politics to make their herds. richard m. pat believe very much of the american mission and defying ordains to be examples of justice and freedom throughout the world to help people recognize this process was ingrained in them. >> one of the public treatments of his wife was a reflection of their private relationship and she often commented he would be out
there are she would be there but that is not how they operated. richard nixon saw it as day every now and he was the interested did bother brevities to show intimacy. to accomplish what they had to accomplish. there were times of the secret service agents and richard nixon believed very strongly there was emotional , a chemical almost mystical aspect to their relationship that could be felt deeply between the two partners. that is the explanation and. people thought of them as playful they joked around to
the dog drove pat crazy because he would let them get on the furniture that drove her crazy but on the other hand, the famous incident that nixon was literally seen tapping his foot. they were a normal couple. become to the white house every presidential couple struggles there is a battle between those to represent the president and those to represent the first lady. that conflict is played out in the pressure is our intense. it with every aspect to plan menus with the entertainment
and the menus. said another thing that impressed me was how protective nixon was the of pat there were articles claiming she was a failure as a first lady, a very traditional people complaining and he would gather to save now we put out press releases to have such an amazing career. when the knicks since we're about to go on tour a very famous article that the column misstated the bricks -- nixon marriages dry as dust. to be documentary's to counter these documentary is
to show they're going through orphanages and powerful part did in the gauge she was. when played on television steve is best on the table to say that's right. that's who you are an pat called up nancy dickerson to tell her how thrilled he was. for the first time the first lady went on the humanitarian mission it is almost like queen elisabeth in 1972 she went on her own trip to africa and the first lady to represent the president at the official inauguration of.
she discuss policy with heads of states. she was emerging in emerging as a sophisticates had not the watergate crisis happened she would be an asset to the country. i just want to talk about the end of their lives. pat came down with lung cancer in the 1990's. nixon was dubbed -- devastated. monica crowd gave foreign policy said he could not finish sentences and walked along aimlessly and couldn't seem to handle a. she came close to death and the supposedly his last words to her were your family loves you, your country the